RWANDA - Rwanda’s tea export volumes and revenue grew significantly in the first 11 months of last year, statistics from the National Agriculture Export Board (NAEB) indicate.
The data shows that the country’s tea export value increased by 40.16 per cent to $66.3 million (about Rwf51.1 billion), up from $47.3 million (about Rwf36.4 billion) recorded during the same period in 2014.
Volumes increased to 22.7 million kilogrammes, up from 20.7 million kilos during the same period the previous year, the report shows.
NAEB attributed the increase in value to good prices at the Mombasa auction over the reporting period, which averaged $2.92 (about Rwf2,248.4) per kilo, a slight increase from the average price of $2.29 (about Rwf1,763.3) a kilogramme in 2014.
Rwanda sells it teas at the Mombasa auction.
Total green leaf production for the January-November period rose marginally by 0.27 per cent (or 254,948kg) to 94.6 million kilos, up from 94.35 million kilogrammes in 2014.
January registered the highest production of the year, totalling to over 11.6 million kilogrammes of green leaf, while the lowest volumes were recorded in September (only 4.66 million kilogrammes of green leaf), according to the report.
On the other hand, the total production of made tea for the January-November period was 22.7 million kilos compared 22.3 million kilos in the same period in 2014, indicating a 365,591kg growth equivalent to 1.64 per cent.
Total production of made tea between July-November, 2015 was 8.6 million kilos, a decrease by 514,387kg or 5.64 per cent from 9.13 million kilogrammes recorded during the same period in 2014.
Meanwhile, Issa Nkurunziza, the head of tea division at NAEB, has said the body intensified efforts to improve the quality of green leaf by training individual farmers and farmer co-operatives in best agronomic practices and post-harvest handling.
He said NAEB equipped selected stakeholders in post-harvest handling of green leaf under its PRICE project, who are expected to pass on the skills to over 6,000 tea farmers across the country to boost production and quality along the value chain.
The project will run for a period of three years, and is part of the farmer field schools initiative that targets tea growers.
NAEB looks to enhance the sector’s productivity by distributing 43 million tea seedlings countrywide by the end of 2017.
It is also supporting efforts to improve the value chain, a move that is expected to enhance green leaf quality and boost tea export receipts to more than $94.9 million by 2018, up from $66.2 million presently.
January 8, 2016; http://www.newtimes.co.rw/section/article/2016-01-08/195912/